UPM Institutional Repository

Energy balances, greenhouse gas emissions and economics of biochar production from palm oil empty fruit bunches


Harsono, Soni Sisbudi and Grundman, Philipp and Lek, Hang Lau and Hansen, Anja and Mohd Salleh, Mohamad Amran and Meyer-Aurich, Andreas and Idris, Azni and Mohd Ghazi, Tinia Idaty (2013) Energy balances, greenhouse gas emissions and economics of biochar production from palm oil empty fruit bunches. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 77. pp. 108-115. ISSN 0921-3449


This paper presents results from a gate-to-gate analysis of the energy balance, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and economic efficiency of biochar production from palm oil empty fruit bunches (EFB). The analysis is based on data obtained from EFB combustion in a slow pyrolysis plant in Selangor, Malaysia. The outputs of the slow pyrolysis plant are biochar, syngas, bio-oil and water vapor. The net energy yield of the biochar produced in the Selangor plant is 11.47 MJ kg−1 EFB. The energy content of the biochar produced is higher than the energy required for producing the biochar, i.e. the energy balance of biochar production is positive. The combustion of EFB using diesel fuel has the largest energy demand of 2.31 MJ kg−1 EFB in the pyrolysis process. Comparatively smaller amounts of energy are required as electricity (0.39 MJ kg−1 EFB) and for transportation of biochar to the warehouse and the field (0.13 MJ kg−1 EFB). The net greenhouse gas emissions of the studied biochar production account for 0.046 kg CO2-equiv. kg−1 EFB yr−1 without considering fertilizer substitution effects and carbon accumulation from biochar in the soil. The studied biochar production is profitable where biochar can be sold for at least 533 US-$ t−1. Potential measures for improvement are discussed, including higher productivity of biochar production, reduced energy consumption and efficient use of the byproducts from the slow pyrolysis.

Download File

PDF (Abstract)
Energy balances.pdf

Download (185kB) | Preview

Additional Metadata

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering
DOI Number: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2013.04.005
Publisher: Elsevier
Keywords: Biochar; Empty fruit bunches; Palm oil; Greenhouse gas emissions; Energy balances; Economic assessment
Depositing User: Nabilah Mustapa
Date Deposited: 11 May 2015 09:57
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2015 23:58
Altmetrics: http://www.altmetric.com/details.php?domain=psasir.upm.edu.my&doi=10.1016/j.resconrec.2013.04.005
URI: http://psasir.upm.edu.my/id/eprint/28798
Statistic Details: View Download Statistic

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item